DIY Submarine - How to Build a Submarine at Home (Work in Progress)

DIY Submarine – Built at Home

DIY submarine and its builder

​Building a steel boat is a major project that would overwhelm most people​. But compared to the endeavor of building a submarine, building a "normal" boat ​ seems like a piece of cake. But then there are people ​like Holger Vieth who don't just dream about building a DIY submarine.


​Apparently, ​his 30-foot steel sailboat (a Meerenpoort 930) got too boring for the young man from the north of Germany. So he started his ambitious project of building his own DIY u-boat. (Don't worry, it's not going to be armed.) What people on Facebook thought to be a joke is now taking shape i​n his garage and backyard: The submarine is 31 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 9 feet tall (13 feet with the periscope).

The DIY Submarine is fully equiped with dive tanks, a​ conning tower, a diesel electric propulsion system and everything else one expects in a proper ​submarine. Holger started his ambitious project in 2015. He made use of an old propane tank as basis for the pressure ​hull. As professional welder with experience in the shipbuilding industry, Holger ​can profit from his experience in working with steel.

​Plans for the Future: Even Bigger DIY Submarine

​Despite its impressive size, the boat is just a prototype for a much larger project: In the long run, Holger wants to build a large submarine of 65 feet with room for three crew members and up to six passengers. With this boat, he want's to offer submarine rides as an adventure.

Plans for a larger DIY-Submarine

Holger has already plans for a large version of his DIY Submarine

Holger was inspired by a similar project in Denmark. Engineer Peter Madsen has build three DIY subs already: UC1 Freya, UC2 Kraka und UC3 Nautilus. Things don't look good for the Danish inventor, though: He allegedly murdered a journalist on board of his homemade submarine and is waiting for trial.

​There are still many people who doubt that ​Holger's boat will float (or refloat after diving). However, the boat on the pictures looks like its well thought out. ​Holger is planning his first sea trials this year. For now, things look good and we cross our fingers.

​Building the Pressure Hull

​Adding Diving Planes to the DIY Submarine

​Assembly of the Hull

Inside the Homemade Submarine

Building a Hatch with Portholes

​Building a Ballast Tank

ballast tanks CAD

This is what the tanks will look like.

​Details on the Diving Mechanism

Back to the Outside of the DIY-Sub

Building the Keel

​Moving the Homemade Submarine

Mounting appendices to the DIY-Submarine

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